tv Second Look FOX September 18, 2011 11:00pm-11:30pm PDT
♪ [ applause ] >> san francisco ♪ the song that embraced one of the world's most famous cities and helped bring fame to one of the most famous men. the life and times of tony bennet. plus we look at the men who escaped alcatraz and the words of a man they left behind. tony bennet plans to celebrate his birthday next month. bennet is always a favorite around here because of a song
he first recorded nearly 50 years ago. i left my heart in san francisco. in 2000, bob mackenzie brought us this look back at tony bennet's life and long career. >> tony bennet has never lived in san francisco. but he is an adopted son as far as this audience is concerned. benefit concerts such as this one for the deyoung museum is now what he does most. >> ♪ >> reporter: how long have we been hearing that voice? a long time. >> ♪ >> reporter: it's been a long career, one that started with a supported family. >> the family would make a circle around us, while our
relatives and my close family. and we would entertain them. and they hooked me. i've been doing it ever since. i've been performing ever since. made us feel very positive and very nice about what we do. >> reporter: he was born anthony benedeto 74 years ago, grew up in astoria queens with a brother and sister. his father was chronically ill and his mother had to work hard at a sewing job, and they had to keep their spirits up. >> my mother was very optimistic. and they said, you know how i feel about optimists, he says most optimistic people i've ever met. >> reporter: young about anthony took an early interest in art. at 16 he drew this sketch of his grandfather. he saw combat with an army unit in france in world war ii. even there he would snap a few moments to sketch what he saw.
he transferred into an entertainment unit and sold for his fellow soldiers. when the war ended he came back to a happy new york. with his g.i. bill he entered a musician school. >> it was right in san francisco, they were all there. in these little clubs, the onyx the three deuces. they were all there. >> reporter: tony bennet as he renamed himself, took on his managers and later on the copa cabana. he was drawn to the music of famous american composers and most particularly harold larson who wrote a few songs for him. >> as if you were doing what
you do like this. you know. >> ♪ >> he was my favorite because he dramatized the music, you know. the other jazz created dance music more or less. they just danced to it which is very nice. but i like alan because he was dramatic. >> reporter: bennet made just one movie, the oscar in 1955. >> if there's one thing that a guy can learn about a guy like youfrank, it's what i've learned. don't be afraid to fight dirty. >> reporter: the critics were nice but the movie was a flop. he decided to stick to music. he is an ambassador. he decided to stop by to say hello to the farro family. it's well known that tony
bennet payments, paints, it's not known that he paints very well. >> ♪ i want to be around to pick up the pieces when somebody breaks your heart. >> reporter: today on stage he doesn't sing hard, he sings smart. casting a mellow mood casting a great lyric cast their spell. >> i like what miller said at a game. the best thing about life is that it's fair, because you can learn from your mistakes. bennett is not only a singer he's also a painter. >> you have a new album out and you're telling me it's already on the number one. >> number one on billboard, yes. >> it's called bennett singing ellington. are you a big fan? >> oh, yes. all the musicians i've worked
for, the real schooled musicians. the real great, not only jazz artists but also great orchestrators they all adored duke elington. throughout the world, it's not just in america. >> ♪ couldn't bear it without you ♪ don't get around much anymore ♪ >> reporter: your paintings behind me we see the one of coit tower and the one of alcatraz. those are in a gallery right now on powell street. >> yes. >> how much do they go for? >> they vary, each painting varies. but they go for quite a bit. i've been very successful in my paintings. >> when you paint is it more of a hobby, is it something you do at a spare time. or yourself serious about it, such as with your music. >> i went to art schools all my life. always kept it up. and you know, a great friend of
mine john brosh who's a great dancer in los angeles, he says you paint every day make it a profession. that was about 40 years ago. and i took him up on it and i started painting diligently every single day. and it turned into a profession. i mean i actually have two careers i sing and i paint. >> what is the highest your paintings ever went for? >> 60,000. >> you know who bought it? >> carrie grant. >> oh my goodness. >> yeah, south of france. >> you look debonair, you always have great manners. what are three things you can tell me to make me cool. i'm not very cool. three things that can make me cool. >> how about one thing, a tie. still to come on a second look, the cable cars started running again after being idle for two years and tony bennett was there. the only men who ever
if you're a fan of tony bennett and the song i left my heart in san francisco, you know one of the most memorable lines is where little cable cars ride to the top of the sky. the cable car system was badly in need of repair and restoration. so major dianne feinstein ordered the cars to be shut down from 1982 to 1984 so that all of the tracks and cables could be replaced and the power house be rebuilt. in may of 1984 as the cable cars began to operate again, major feinstein celebrated and she did so with a special guest. tony bennett, here's betty anne bruno with that report. >> reporter: major feinstein and singer tony bennett were all miles and banter this
afternoon as they went on a test drive on refurbished cable car. >> it sounds great. listen to the steel on steel, it's a romantic san francisco. >> reporter: veteran gritman carl payne was also enjoying being back at the controls again. >> everybody is holding on? remember now don't pick it up unless you want to leave it behind. >> reporter: having tony bennett and the cable cars running it's like having the sun, the moon and the stars all in one place. >> reporter: recently some song activists have called for tony bennett's to be replaced by the more upbeat san francisco. he refused to be pulled in to what has become a rather heated controversy. >> i think both songs are good. i think both songs are nice for the city.
they shouldn't be compared, they are two different type songs. >> reporter: the mayor who has remained loyal to bennett's i left my heart also refused to debate the merits of the song and just kept bubbling like the champane someone served them in front of the mark hopkins hotel. >> here's to san francisco. here's to tony bennett, here's to the one and only cable car system in the world, may they all continue together. >> god bless you. >> here, here. >> reporter: even the nummi officials who had been plagued of charges of mall administration and in inefficiency were happy today. seems like they finally did something right today. all the little cars should be running next month. for all of you who have been humming this tune since the beginning of this newscast. here it is, tony bennett, i left my heart in san francisco. he never expected the song to be a hit. in fact, he put it on the flip side of a record features a
broadway show tune. as he told ktvu's mark pitta back in 1989. >> 1962 you sang that song here. it wasn't the a side of your record. >> no i believe on the other side "once upon a time" written for broadway. richard wright just died and he left the music to once upon a time. i thought it was the most perfect record i ever made. soon as the public said, turn it over. columbia records came running to me at the time. he says you have the wrong side. everybody wants that other side. >> i thought it was going to be a local hit in the san francisco area. possibly it ended up being an international hit. it's changed my whole career because it's made me a world citizen and i've been able to tour all over the world. >> what is it like when you sing it outside of san francisco? >> very adored. everybody dreams about san
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as we said earlier, tony bennett first recorded i left my heart in san francisco back in 1962. that's also the year san francisco made headlines when three inmates escaped from alcatraz prison. for years the question remain, what ever happened to those three men. did they in fact, drown in san francisco bay or did they make it on shore and went into hiding in some far away land. if they did survive they would be in the 70s or 80s. bob mackenzie has a look at the men that were never found. >> reporter: people make a trip to see the notorious alcatraz prison. the one story they all want to hear is the tale of the escape. on june 11, 1962 three convicts disappeared never to be seen
again. how they did it still amazing everyone who hears it. carol aglon, brother frank aglon and morris all disappeared and were never seen again. 6-inches thick at the thinnest places. iron guards everywhere, guard towers at every turn, alcatraz was considered escape proof. and it kept that repew teugs reputation for a long time. the federal parks has restored the cells of the three men who escaped complete with the dummies they used to trick guards to think that they were in bed. with paper macha heads with real hair stolen from the barber shop. with tools they made themselves including an electric drill made from a sewing machine motor they stole from the
prison sewing shop. i asked ranger weiter man how the devices could breakthrough the wall without making a noise. he explained that the men did their work when the prison orchestra rehearsed. leaving dummies in their beds, the three would shimmy through the holes and meet in this narrow utility corridor behind the wall. >> they were strong young guys, they could do the climbing. >> they built the life raft out of 140 raincoats they smuggled in from the industries area. >> reporter: they were able to get to the ceiling above the three tiered cell block and over time cut a hole in the ceiling. after months of preparation, the three climbed through the
hole one final time. >> they climbed to the roof of the building, broke out through the air ventilation shop. ran to the waters edge and disappeared. >> reporter: bill long was the prison guard who discovered the three men were missing during a head count on the morning of june 11, 1962. >> where did they go? that was my first reaction was shock. i was shocked to find these guys weren't there. >> reporter: those fake heads did the job fooling everyone until the last minute. >> i had to feel on the head too on the floor. >> reporter: since the makeshift raft was never found, authorities theorize that the three men went down in the bay and drowned in the frigid waters. >> to where they had to swim or go by raft to shore or near by angel island. >> reporter: in 1982, ktvu spoke to kent who was a guard
at the time. he says the plan was to paddle their boat to tiburon. >> it was a small community. the whole thing was not being seen. the whole thing was destroying the evidence. >> reporter: did morris and the anglin brothers get to tiburon, destroy the evidence and travel to south america like they planned and start new lives? there's no evidence that they didn't and that's enough mystery to keep a good story alive for 44 years. guards and inmates hold a reunion on alcatraz. one of them offers his thoughts on the whereabouts of three men who escaped nearly 53 years ago. [ female announcer ] from the very first moment we arrive...
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never been heard from since. every year guards and prisoners gather for a reunion, and they speak on the men who were never found. >> reporter: former inmate, prison guards and their family return to alcatraz to note the day the prison opened august 11, 1934. >> i was in here for bank robbery. got here in 1959. was one of the last 29 men to leave the island when they closed it in 63. >> reporter: 73-year-old darwin coon has written a book about the hard times as an unwilling resident on the rock. today he revisited his cell. >> how long were you in this cell? >> four years. >> reporter: one of the worse parts of being here in alcatraz is being attacked by other inmates so he started carrying a knife. when he got caught he was placed here in solitary confinement for 29 days.
coon seen here says he wanted to escape but couldn't because it was impossible from his cell. so he helped provide tools to the men who hatched the infamous 1962 plot to escape from alcatraz. the fate of the three escapees remains unknown. >> they are in south america i think. one of these days, one of the men will scream from his death bed, here i am and we'll all know. >> reporter: a former guard who survived a prisoner revolt that became known as the battle of 1946, comeford says despite that incident she recalls as a child befriending two convicted bank robbers. >> they used to do work, and they liked kids and kids would
chitchat with them. i remember the two of them. pat and chap. my dad assured med they got out. >> reporter: the prisoners who served the time, the guards who policed them, amidst all the stories told on the rock today, everyone came away realizing there is no escaping from alcatraz. and that's it for this week's second look. i'm frank somerville. and we'll see you again next week. i really love jennifer. yeah, she's great. yeah. yeah. kyle's got that thick head of hair. ok, moment of truth. on "three," say which kid you love the most. oh, fun, yeah. 1...2...3... jennifer. jennifer. whoa. wow. ha! she's so pretty. yeah. or, we give it to kyle. it's really all he's got. [ male announcer ] switch to at&t u-verse and record four shows all at the same time. just $29 a month for 6 months. at&t.